Leeds United are out of the picture in the hunt to re-sign Ben White, with Brighton “definitely” not selling the defender to a relegation rival, according to a report.
After his stunning impact for Leeds on loan this season, reports claim the Elland Road club want White back.
However, Brighton have rejected two bids from Leeds for the 22-year-old, the latter being for £22m. Indeed, further newspaper speculation claims his price has now increased.
What’s more, talkSPORT now claims that Brighton will “definitely” not sell to a team they could face in next season’s battle to remain in the Premier League.
It remains unclear how Leeds will fare after a 16-year wait for a top-flight return; both Sheffield United and Wolves have defied expectations by finishing in the top half.
However, it appears Brighton are unwilling to take that risk. Instead, they have ruled out White’s sale to Leeds but could reportedly work with a team higher up the table. Speculation has linked Manchester United with a move.
The Seagulls fear Leeds could get the upper hand defensively with White in their team, as the bid to survive begins next term.
talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook said: “We know Leeds are desperate to get him, and there have been other clubs linked as well.
“I’m not too sure clubs like Manchester United will be looking at Ben White at this stage. I think he’s a player with great potential but he hasn’t played above the Championship yet; it would be a massive gamble for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“Bielsa loves him and he fits into the system at Leeds, but Brighton want to keep him and certainly do not want to sell him to a relegation rival – and they would deem Leeds in that category. He is expected to stay.”
NO £40m CHELSEA BID FOR DUNK?
talkSPORT also claims that reports of a £40million bid from Chelsea for Lewis Dunk are untrue.
The Sun claimed on Sunday that the Blues are close to a deal for the Brighton captain. However, the latest report says otherwise.
Crook added: “I’ve spoken to people very close to the player and spoken to my sources at Brighton.
“They haven’t received a bid from Chelsea, and they wouldn’t welcome one. Lewis Dunk is happy on the south coast and I’m told he’s 95 per cent certain to stay a Seagulls player.”
Chelsea are allegedly keen to restructure a defence which shipped 54 Premier League goals this season, the most of any side in the top 10.